Job Information

Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration Psychologist - Pain Clinic in Columbia, South Carolina


The facility provides care to approximately 82,000 veterans in the midlands and upstate SC. CBOCs are located in Anderson, Greenville, Spartanburg, Florence, Orangeburg, Sumter, and Rock Hill, and provide primary care, mental health, and telemedicine services. Dorn VAMC is affiliated with the University of South Carolina (USC) School of Medicine and provides teaching services for students and residents.


Incumbent is responsible for psychology interventions provided to patients with complex chronic pain and their family members within the Pain Clinic of the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Service (PM&RS). The pain psychologist plays a major role in the bio-psychosocial support for and empowerment of patients to eliminate harmful psychological behaviors and replace them with healthy behaviors. Incumbent works within a multidisciplinary setting providing diagnostic assessments, appropriate mental health referrals, and evidence-based interventions for managing chronic pain. The modalities include, but are not limited to, individual, group, and family psychotherapies, tele-health interventions, and other interventions such as alpha stim, biofeedback, and environmental interventions. Incumbent consults with medical center staff on a wide variety of patient care issues. Incumbent may be involved in the training of psychology practicum students, interns, and postdoctoral fellows and trainees in other disciplines, such as medicine, nursing, social work, rehabilitation and others. Incumbent may also be called upon to assist with a variety of administrative functions for the programs in which incumbent works, for PM&RS, and for the medical center. The position reports to the PM&RS Lead Psychologist. Duties include, but are not limited to: Provides psychological assessment, make diagnosis, and develop treatment plans in conjunction with the veteran to address mental health issues that hinder the medical recovery process for veterans with chronic pain. Conducts comprehensive multi-method biopsychosocial assessments for patients being considered for implantable devices. Assesses risk of harm and implements appropriate safety interventions for veterans. Provides pain management psychoeducation as well as evidence-based treatments to veterans and their family members in individual and group settings. Provides clinical services through the use of tele-mental health/tele-home technology where available and appropriate. Consults with other professionals, participates in multidisciplinary medical team meeting, and advocates for veterans to obtain comprehensive medical and mental health services. Participates effectively and collaboratively as a member of an inter-professional team in designing and implementing treatment plans and providing care coordination. Provides consultation to professional staff within WJB Dorn VA Medical Center and to community providers concerning clinical assessment findings and appropriate treatment plans for patients. Provides education to patients, family members, and significant others. Provides clinical supervision to psychology trainees including practicum students, interns, and postdoctoral fellows. Supports the psychology training program, as needed, by serving on committees, presenting at seminars, and other activities. Provides training to program staff and other health care providers. Serves as a consultant to other medical center staff and trainees and assists in their formulation of the psychological characteristics and appropriate treatment expectations regarding their patients. Oversees the establishment of program monitors and outcome measurements within programs assigned, using data-driven quality assurance processes. Plans and oversees the completion of personal research programs, designed to provide information regarding program planning and relevant treatment approaches. Presents outcome data and research results as VA and regional or national scientific or professional meetings. Assists in preparation of RFP's and grant proposals, as assigned. Assisting the OIPP Program Director with the collection and analysis of data for further program development of OIPP and other Behavioral Health programs within the pain department. Serves on medical center, VISN, and/or National VA committees or task forces. Represents the PM&R service on decision-making committees at the medical center or healthcare system. Provides services to promote the efficient operation of the medical center. Represents the medical center at professional/program community group/events and committees. Other duties as assigned. Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm (subject to change based on agency needs)

Financial Disclosure Report: Not required


Conditions of Employment


Basic Requirements: United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. Education: Have a doctoral degree in psychology from a graduate program in psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) at the time the program was completed. The specialty area of the degree must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. For the purpose of meeting this requirement, the term "specialty area" refers to the specific specialty areas recognized by the accrediting body and not to specific job duties that might require special skills. Currently, APA accredits doctoral programs in the specialty areas of clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, or combinations of two or more of those areas. PCSAS accredits doctoral programs in psychological clinical science. CPA accredits doctoral programs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, clinical neuropsychology, and school psychology. There are no job assignments in VHA that require the skills of a school psychologist; therefore, an applicant with a degree in the specialty area of school psychology is not eligible for appointment. Strictly for the purpose of determining eligibility for appointment as a psychologist in VHA, there is no distinction between the specialty areas (with the exception of school psychology). OR (2) Have a doctoral degree in any area of psychology and, in addition, successfully complete a re-specialization program (including documentation of an approved internship completed as part of the re-specialization program) meeting both of the following conditions: (a) The re-specialization program must be completed in an APA or a CPA accredited doctoral program; and, (b) the specialty in which the applicant is retrained must be consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. NOTE: The applicant must provide an official transcript and/or certificate documenting the completion of the re-specialization program, which includes completion of an APA or CPA internship. [Psychologists who have successfully completed a re-specialization program as described above and who were employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs prior to the implementation of this standard are considered to have fully met the educational requirements of these qualification standards. OR (3) Have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally-accredited institution, with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature. Internship: (a) Have successfully completed a professional psychology internship training program that was accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed and that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. OR (b) New VHA psychology internship programs that are in the process of applying for APA accreditation are acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement, provided that such programs were sanctioned by the VHA Central Office Program Director for Psychology and the VHA Office of Academic Affiliations at the time that the individual was an intern; OR (c) VHA facilities that offered full-time, one-year pre-doctoral internships prior to PL 96-151 (pre-1979) are considered to be acceptable in fulfillment of the internship requirement; OR (d) Applicants who completed an internship that was not accredited by APA or CPA at the time the program was completed may be considered eligible for hire only if they are currently board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology in a specialty area that is consistent with the assignment for which the applicant is to be employed. (NOTE: Once board certified, the employee is required to maintain board certification.) OR (e) Applicants who have a doctoral degree awarded between 1951 and 1978 from a regionally-accredited institution with a dissertation primarily psychological in nature may fulfill this internship requirement by having the equivalent of a one-year supervised internship experience in a site specifically acceptable to the candidate's doctoral program. If the internship experience is not noted on the applicant's official transcript, the applicant must provide a statement from the doctoral program verifying that the equivalent of a one-year supervised internship experience was completed in a site acceptable to the doctoral program. Licensure: Hold a full, current, and unrestricted license to practice psychology at the doctoral level in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia. Physical Requirements: Selectee must pass a pre-employment physical exam. English Language Proficiency. Psychologists must be proficient in spoken and written English in accordance with VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3j. May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria). Grade Requirement:

Staff Psychologist, GS-13 (Full Performance, Level)

Experience. At least two years of experience as a professional psychologist, with at least one year equivalent to the GS-12 grade level.

Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate all of the following KSAs:

  1. Knowledge of, and ability to apply, professional psychological treatments to the full range of patient populations.

  2. Ability to provide professional advice and consultation in areas related to professional psychology and behavioral health. 3. Knowledge of clinical research literature. Preferred Experience: Experience working with Veteran / Active Duty military population; experience working with chronic pain patients; training and experience in the following treatments: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Biofeedback, hypnosis, and / or Alpha Stim. References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G18, Psychologist Qualification Standard, February 7, 2018. The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-13. Physical Requirements: Light lifting, under 15 pounds; light carrying, under 15 pounds; reaching above shoulder; use of fingers; walking; standing; good vision; hearing (aid permitted); mental and emotional stability.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit:

Additional Information

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed. This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies. It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment. This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status. VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority. Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members. If you are unable to apply online view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.